Listening to fishes communicate at a depth of 120 meters
For many years Professor Eric Parmentier – who directs the Functional and Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory of the University of Liege - has been tracking sounds emitted by fishes in order to better understand the way they live. A recent study, unique in the world, has made it possible to compare the huge amount of sounds emitted by different fish communities at a depth of 120 meters. This research has been the subject of a publication in the prestigious American magazine PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
“This difference can certainly be explained by the fact that during the day the fishes use visual (even at a depth of 120 meters) and acoustic cues, they can then use displays to communicate with their own kind. At night, by way of contrast, they are surrounded by absolute darkness which obliges them to ‘refine’ their communication in order to make their own community aware of what they require”.
(1) Laëtitia Ruppé , Gaël Clément, Anthony Herrel, Laurent Ballesta, Thierry Décamps, Loïc Kéver and Eric Parmentier, Environmental constraints drive the partitioning of the soundscape in fishes, PNAS, April 2015